About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Jews Continue In Their Unbelief (ch. 12:37-50)
Jesus withdrew Himself was most likely on the Tuesday before Passover.
We are not sure where He withdrew Himself.
Maybe it was to
knew what the outcome of His ministry would be.
It had been prophesied in the Old Testament.
In verse 38 John quotes from Isaiah 53:1.
"Who has believed our message, and to whom has the arm of the
Lord been revealed." There
are two prophetic statements here that John quotes in relation to Jesus.
For the most part, very few people in
that the passage from Isaiah is spoken by someone to the Lord.
The context here in John clearly tells us that it is Jesus; the
Messiah that Isaiah was predicting would come, speaking here in Isaiah 53.
The title Lord is in reference to God.
39 says that "for this reason they could not believe."
Then in verse 40 John quotes more from Isaiah to back up what he
was saying. "He (God) has
blinded their (Israelis) eyes and deadened their hearts so they can
neither see … or understand … nor turn and I would heal them.
does this quote mean? Did
should understand, Biblically speaking, God gives individuals and nations
ample time to repent and come to Him, but, there will come a time where He
will step back and give us to our sin as Paul states in Romans 1:24 and
following. Then, sooner or
later, God can and will make it impossible for that people or nation to
believe. Paul confirmed this
in 2 Thessalonians 2:11 when he said that in the last days God would send
people "a powerful delusion so they would believe a lie."
What Paul says here is exactly what this Isaiah quote here in John
means. Don't be fooled.
God is sovereign. He
can and will do what He wants to do, and, He can and will blind the hearts
and minds so people are unable to believe.
the word "heal" in verse 40.
Many, if not most, Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians jump to
the conclusion that the word "heal" always refers to physical
healing. That is clearly not
the case here. Heal, in this
instance means heal from spiritual blindness and hardness of heart.
I suggest the same applies to Isaiah 53:5 where Isaiah says that
"by His wounds you are healed."
If you carefully read that statement in context you will note that
the word "heal" is not speaking of physical healing, but, of
verse 41 John says that Isaiah said this "because he (Isaiah) saw the
glory of Jesus and spoke about it."
Centuries before Jesus was on earth, in the days of Isaiah, God had
opened the eyes and heart of this prophet in order to see into the future
days of Jesus’ earthly ministry. It
was as if he had been warped into another era to put it in Star Trek
though for the most part the crowd only followed on Jesus' bandwagon, John
says that many Pharisees actually did believe in Jesus, yet they were
secretive about it. They did
not want to be kicked out of the synagogue.
The synagogue was more than a place of worship.
It was the centre of Jewish culture.
It was a place where the poor could be fed, the lost could be
found, and the elderly being taken care of.
In fact the synagogue was somewhat of a welfare community centre.
No one wanted to be excommunicated from the synagogue.
through the Old Testament God had what is called His remnant, that is,
those men and women who truly gave themselves to Him.
God has never been without a people, and so it was in the days of
Jesus. There was a remnant of
true believers. A remnant is a
smaller part of something that is bigger.
A remnant of fabric is a small piece of a larger block of fabric.
The same is true with God’s people.
There’s the larger group of so-called people of God, and within
that larger group is a smaller group who are the real people of God.
some of the leaders did have some kind of faith in Jesus, but fear
prevented them from exposing their faith.
Fear is the number one enemy of faith.
It always has been and it always will be.
then tells us that the leaders who did believe in Jesus loved the praise
of men more than the praise of God. This
tells me how we should understand the word "believe" in this
verse. This is not a belief or
a trust in Jesus that led to them to give their lives to Jesus and thus be
verse 44 Jesus cries out by saying if a man believes in me he believes in
the one who sent me also, and if he sees me, he sees the one who sent me.
This is the truth the John has been reminding us about throughout
his gospel account. When John
wrote his book, probably in or around 90 to 95 AD, heresy over who Jesus
was began to spread throughout the church.
It is for this reason that John constantly recalls Jesus stating
His relationship with God, His Father.
don’t know where and
in John we saw that Jesus claimed to be the light of the world.
In verse 46 He makes this claim again.
He then says that those who trust Him no longer have to walk in the
darkness of the world. Jesus
viewed the world, the culture of the day, as being dark.
Darkness in the Bible is associated with sin.
Jesus, like the first generation church, believed that the world in
which they lived was utterly sinful. We
should have the same attitude, but that's not always the case in today's
verse 47 Jesus tells us once again that He did not come to earth to judge
the world but to save the world. As
I've said earlier in my commentary, Jesus did make judgment calls, but a
judgment call is not what He is talking about here.
The judgment that Jesus did not make while on earth, He will make
at the end of this age, or, as Prophetic Futurists believe, at the White
Throne Judgment. It is
important for us to differentiate between making a normal everyday
judgment call land judging individuals at the White Throne Judgment.
Jesus speaks of the White Throne Judgment of Revelation 20 when in verse 48 He speaks of the judgment of the last day. He says that the words that He has spoken will in fact be the judge that condemns the unbeliever. By this He means that if we do not receive what Jesus says, what He has said will be repeated on the Day of Judgment and at that time it will become clearly evident that those words were not heeded and thus condemnation is the natural result.
verses 49 and 50 Jesus goes on to say that He did not speak His own words.
We’ve heard Him say this over and over again.
He spoke God’s words, even to the point of
how He should say these words.
Jesus did not vary from God’s will in the tone of voice and the
manner in which He said the Words of God. Again, Jesus is pointing out His
relationship with God, His Father.
verse 50 Jesus said that His words lead to eternal life.
Note they lead to eternal life.
That is to say, they point the way to eternal life.
life as seen in the New Testament speaks of eternal life with Jesus.
All humans will live eternally, that is forever, but, not all will
live with Jesus. Nonbelievers
will also live forever but in the Lake
of Fire. The point here is that the
words eternal life in Biblical terms only applies to the blessed state of
the saved dead.